13 February, 2014

Shopping? No. It's more like a ... Three Day Marathon!

It's fashion market season, and my mama and I are heading to Las Vegas, baby! Yep, I'm packing my most comfy market shoes, 'coz there is going to be some serious mileage put on my poor feet! For those who attend these events, it's a vast, voyeuristic, hard-hitting, music pounding, party atmosphere.  It's a brash, over-the-top, multi-venue, multi-price point, multi-categorized extravaganza staged for an audience of thousands of fashion industry insiders.  Whhhew!

By this time next week, I will have previewed countless samples of the latest and greatest the fashion world has created to "dazzle me, delight me, and officially write me". For those who don't know the the trade lingo, "writing" is the entire purpose of going to market. At market, I will thoughtfully write dozens of purchase orders, amounting to the entirety of Hop Sing's Autumn & Winter 2014 inventory. I'm often asked: how do I know what the trends will be that far ahead of the season? My answer is... I don't! I put on my best clairvoyant/poker face and bet on a win. Of course I look for the styles and colors that viscerally attract me. I'm true to myself, or at least I try really hard to be. Sales pitches by rep's about "best-sellers" and "favorites" rarely influence my decision. I'm most likely thinking of you, my dear customer.  I think of your style, and who among you would look amazing in the pieces I see. I see a Hop Sing fashion show in my head!

Confidently, we will trek the shows seeking emerging designers and sourcing independent labels- all the while competing for exclusivity alongside the buying teams for retailers like Modcloth, Polyvore & ShopBop and industry giants like Bergdorf's, Bloomingdales, Macy's, Neiman Marcus & Nordstrom's, as well as International and multi-national department chain stores and swanky high-end resort boutiques. Yes, we've squeezed and wiggled our way into a fancy-schmancy showroom or two, determined to write opening orders with a fair share of fine contemporary labels, unique and cult labels - the ones you expect to find at Hop Sing. The kind of labels who have hefty "buy-in" minimums, the kind of labels that many small boutiques are afraid to write, however, because of YOU, and your amazing sense of style and appreciation of quality, we are able to do this, and do it well. THANK YOU!

Pre-market, my email inbox overflows with sales pitches. One-liners such as: "Selling out super fast", "Appointments limited must book now". It's trade-show-a-rama!  It's a lot of work, and my feet already ache in anticipation, but we love what we do, and we love the women we're doing it for!  

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